Heather Lekx has managed Ignatius Farm since 2001, when she arrived to start a new CSA program at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. She currently oversees the vegetable farm, an extensive community garden, and land management for a multitude of independent enterprises at the Centre’s farm, which has served as the well of sustenance for the Jesuit community in the region since 1913.
Heather provides insights into the dynamics of farming with an institution, including how the CSA program and the farm developed in a vacuum left by previous programming and how the farm became a focal point of the Ignatius Centre’s identity. We discuss how her role has changed through the years from the initiation of the CSA program to its current ten acres of production alongside of 250 acres of additional farm production as part of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre’s larger mission.
We also dig deep into Ignatius Farm’s process for hiring great employees and interns, from advertising and interviewing through the onboarding process and beyond. Heather helped to start the CRAFT program for Southwest Ontario, and she shares the ways that her farm provides a mission-driven internship program that also provides for the needs of the farm.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.